GEODIS has taken delivery of seven Mercedes-Benz Actros tractor units as it expands its Asian road network but warns more cooperation on border clearance is needed.
The leased vehicles are equipped with the latest security and safety technology and will be utilized on the logistics operator’s owned network in Southeast Asia.
GEODIS has recently expanded its road network in the region with service destinations in Vietnam added to its existing full and partial load service linking Singapore with Malaysia and Thailand.
The network will eventually connect with Chinese markets on a day-definite, door-to-door basis delivering a road transport alternative to the more costly air, and slower ocean, options.
Lakshmanan Venkateswaran, sub-regional managing director – South East Asia of GEODIS said: “The rapid expansion of our road mode offerings along the spine of Southeast Asia’s economic backbone has resulted in more than 50 per cent increase in volumes since the service’s inception in late 2019.
“Linking Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, and now into Vietnam, our owned network brings reliable transit times and cargo security. This new equipment will further enhance these service attributes and aid the fast-growing businesses of our high-tech, retail, e-commerce and FMCG customers.”
But Venkateswaran warned: “If ASEAN aspires to see more freight traffic, road borders must see improvement in clearance procedures. Belt road initiatives need the ASEAN countries to harmonize the documentation required to transit their territories.
“Our owned network and trusted partners play a role in coping with these obstacles, but improvements would be welcomed. Just so our investment in better vehicles will assist with the challenge of driver recruitment and retention”.
The Actros 5 vehicles are being supplied by the manufacturer’s Malaysian distributor, Hap Seng Trucks Distribution the vehicles are being leased from Euroasia Total Logistics (ETL).
Darren Lee, Euroasia Total Logistics Group CEO said: “It is not just the safety features of these trucks that make them a superior choice but also their improved fuel efficiency and longer service intervals in comparison with older models.
“There are few competitors that can match their performance and we applaud GEODIS decision to employ them,” he added.
Lee said the vehicles are equipped to ensure the cargo is well protected. This includes keyless starting and remote key access ensuring that the driver’s presence is in close proximity to the vehicle at all times together with the remote key, otherwise, the vehicle cannot be operated.
In addition, specially designed door extensions conceal the access steps into the vehicle which enhances safety and contributes to theft protection. Since March 2021, GEODIS has expanded its road network capabilities by offering both standard and personalized solutions including its RoadDirect, RoadFast, and RoadSave services.